New data has revealed that younger shoppers are much more likely to buy gift cards from retailers than older shoppers.

The research, carried out by the Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA), said that 82.6% of Generation Z – those born after 1995 – have bought a gift card in the last three years.

The same survey of 2,000 shoppers said that, by comparison, only 67.6% of Baby Boomers had bought one in that same period.

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The findings are part of the GCVA’s ‘State of the Nation 2021’ research, which also found that one in three millennials (33.3%) and a quarter of Generation Z shoppers (27%) have become a regular customer of a new brand after receiving a gift card for that business.

Meanwhile, younger shoppers were more likely to purchase a gift card for themselves, with 42.2% of millennial shoppers and 34.8% of Generation Z likely to buy for themselves.

Reasons cited for self-purchase include it being a secure payment method and saving money, the survey revealed.

Gail Cohen, director general of the GCVA, commented: “Engaging younger shoppers is a crucial consideration for retailers looking to gain brand loyalty with their future customers.

“Given younger shoppers’ affinity for gift cards, it is clear that retailers cannot afford to ignore their importance and relevance as a customer engagement and retention tool.

“The gift card industry continues to go from strength to strength and, between the continued rise of digital solutions and adapting to consumer desires for self-use, shows a real appetite to innovate and meet changing consumer and business needs.

“Retailers that offer a gift card programme, offering their customers greater flexibility in both the products they buy and how they pay for them, are likely to benefit both financially and in terms of continued customer loyalty.”